Read John 11:32-37
32 When Mary met Jesus, she looked at him, and then fell down at his feet. “If only you had been here, Lord,” she said, “my brother would never have died.”
33 When Jesus saw Mary weep and noticed the tears of the Jews who came with her, he was deeply moved and visibly distressed.
34 “Where have you put him?” he asked.
35 “Lord, come and see,” they replied, and at this Jesus himself wept.
36-37 “Look how much he loved him!” remarked the Jews, though some of them asked, “Could he not have kept this man from dying if he could open that blind man’s eyes?” (JBP)
Jesus sometimes doesn’t do what we expect him to do. We may even feel let down by him. Mary expresses something of this in our passage today. Jesus had delayed coming to Lazarus’ tomb. He didn’t turn up when he was supposed to turn up. This sort of thing happens to us too: we scratch our heads wondering what Jesus is up to.
Then again, note the reaction of Jesus. He had his reasons for delaying his arrival: it was to demonstrate a great miracle which was a forerunner of his own resurrection. He knew what he was doing even if others did not. Faced with these gentle or not-so-gentle accusations of incompetence, he wept. He wept at the existence of death itself and the understandable yet frustrating short-sightedness of the people around him.
There are times we want Jesus to do a certain thing for us or for others. He may or may not do it. So we are disappointed or puzzled. But Jesus, who is faced with the innumerable expectations of his followers, bears his own pain in response. He would love to fix everything up right now and perhaps he continues to weep at our own brokenness.
And yet, we can be sure that one day resurrection will be a reality. In the midst of all our unfulfilled expectations, we cling to this one great expectation.